Parental Attachment Styles and Asthma Outcomes in Pediatric Asthma
Oculato Silva de Souza, Thea
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Objective: To determine the relationship between parental attachment style, parent-provider relationship, and functional morbidity among children with asthma. Methods: A total of 110 children with asthma, between the ages of 7 and 15, and their families were recruited from Jacobi Medical Center. Participants completed a Relationship Questionnaire (RQ), a Parental Provider Communication (PPC) questionnaire, and an Asthma Functional Severity Scale. The Asthma Functional Severity Scale was administered at baseline and at a 5-week follow-up to assess functional morbidity. The RQ was administered at session two, and doser devices monitored use of asthma quick relief medication in naturalistic settings across 5 weeks. Results: No between group differences were found in quick relief medication use by attachment style [F (2, 83)=. 34, p=0.71]. No significant between group differences existed in functional morbidity when analyzed by attachment [F (2, 107)= 3.04, p=0.52]. Secure individuals did however, have the lowest functional morbidity scores compared to the fearful and dismissing participants. There was no significant relationship between PPC and quick relief medication use (r--- -.15, p=.18) and follow up investigation implementing a Hierarchical Regression Analysis while controlling for female education confirmed this [F (1,79)= .93, p=.34]. A Pearson Correlation found that PPC was not associated with functional morbidity scores (r=-.18, p=.06) but was in the expected direction. An adjusted analysis implementing Hierarchical Regression Analysis while controlling for Asthma Severity was performed for further examination. Results showed PPC failed to contribute significantly to the model [R2 = .02, F (1, 106) = 1.78, p = .19]. Lastly, there was no significant relationship between parent provider communication and attachment styles [F (2, 107) = 1.57, p = .21]. Conclusion: Study findings suggest a trend where Parental Attachment may be related to functional morbidity in pediatric asthma. Specifically that Fearful and Dismissing types may be potential risk factors for greater Functional Morbidity, which may be worth examining among a larger sample size. Although Parental Attachment was not significantly associated with quick relief medication use or functional morbidity, given previous research and the direction of findings, there is reason to further investigate a potential relationship between attachment and asthma outcomes. Future studies should examine both parental and child attachment to see if attachment is related to health related outcome measures within pediatric asthma.